Searching for the right contractor to build your dream home be an overwhelming prospect for many people. With so many builders to choose from, how can you know who will be the right one for your project? This is why it is important that you take your time to research builders and sit down with them to discuss what you are looking for in your dream home.
This also gives you an opportunity to learn as much about each builder as possible. Meeting with builders, and asking them as many questions as possible, can help you to find the right company to build your new home. However, it is important that you go into the meeting prepared with questions you want to ask, as this will keep you organized, which can help to ensure that you don’t forget anything during the meeting.
To get you started as you prepare to meet with contractors, here are 5 of the most important questions you should ask when interviewing custom home builders.
#1 “How Long Have You Been Building Homes?”
The first thing you will want to do when meeting with builders is to ask them about their experience. While more experience does not always mean better service, you are less likely to experience problems when working with a builder who has been in the industry for a while. A seasoned builder will know the ins and outs of the home building process, and they will be prepared for any hiccups that can (and usually do) occur along the way, as they will likely have encountered similar issues before. When entrusting someone with designing and building your dream home, you want to be able to have confidence that they will deliver the end result you are looking for. However, it is important when researching custom home builders that you look at the experience of those in charge. At the end of the day, it is better to go with a newer company whose contractors have decades of industry experience than it is to go with a more established firm whose team is less experienced.
#2 “Are You Licensed and Insured?”
Perhaps the most important question you will need to ask builders is whether or not they are licensed and insured. While contractor licensing laws vary by city, state, and county, most home builders are required to obtain some kind of license, credential, or certification. This certification is critical to look for in a home builder as it ensures that they have the proper experience, authorization, and training to build homes in your area. Additionally, working with a licensed builder gives you more legal protection should a builder skip town, or if you have issues resolving a problem with them during the build.
It is equally critical that a builder has proper insurance that covers their equipment, your property, and their employees in the event that an accident occurs on your property during the construction process. If a builder is not properly insured, you may find yourself vulnerable to being sued for a construction worker’s medical bills. However, a reputable builder will not only carry the proper licensing and insurance, but they will also be more than willing to provide proof of this if you ask. If a builder seems hesitant to answer this question, or if they cannot show you proof of their licensing and insurance, this is a clear indicator of a builder you do not want to work with.
#3 “Can I See Your Previous Work?”
Something many people do not think to ask is to see examples of a builder’s previous work. Why is this important? Looking at a builder’s recent projects is a good thing for prospective customers to do for multiple reasons. Firstly, looking at a builder’s previous work can give you a sense of their build quality. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and a builder’s portfolio can show you whether or not their work is up to your standards. Additionally, looking through a builder’s portfolio can give you an idea of what their architectural and design style is like. While you want to find a good builder you can trust, you also want to find a builder to work with whose design style matches yours, or the end result may not be the dream home you have always wanted.
#4 “What’s The Expected Timeline for This Build?”
The next thing that you will want to ask a builder is how long they would expect your build to take. While unexpected problems and delays can occur, especially if there is severe weather, an experienced builder should be able to give you an expected timeline for your project based on their past jobs. Make sure to ask a builder about the kinds of delays that are likely to occur, and what their process is for handling delays. An experienced builder will be upfront about the delays that can occur, but they should still be able to provide a projected timeline of when your build should be completed, and they will be willing to include this timeline in your contract.
#5 “Can I Get a Proposal in Writing?”
At the end of your meeting with each builder, make sure that you get a written proposal from them that includes everything you have discussed with them that day. While a builder may tell you anything you want to hear during their sales pitch, this does not mean much if you do not get it in writing as they could try to change their bid later on. Make sure that the proposal includes estimated costs, their projected time frame, and what is expected of all parties involved. This will not only help to protect you later one, but it will also help you to keep track of all of your proposals if you have them in writing to review later when making your final decision.
It is important that you not be afraid to ask plenty of questions when selecting a home builder, as this will help to ensure that you find the right contractor to build the home you have always wanted. Contact us to learn more about the questions you should ask your builder as well as to find out how we can make your dream home a reality.